Cracks in the regime

I have been watching with great interest what appears to be cracks in the HAT regime that has had a strangle hold on Madagascar ever since March of 2009. Here are the headlines of yesterday and today:

  • Marc Ravalomanana is rumoured to have sent 500 million Ariary to military at Fort-Duchesne
  • Ny Hasina Andriamanjato has resigned from his vice Prime Minister post in the HAT citing that it is to help them get on the right track and follow the Maputo agreement.

Marc Ravalomanana Rumours

It started yesterday while I was going through all the online Malagasy news papers when I stumbled across this article on www.tananews.com where it was reported that the military at Fort-Duchesne in Madagascar are on the verge of mutiny against their leaders (not sure if this means other military or the HAT).  Perhaps the most interesting part of the article is that it suggests that 500 million Ariary was paid by Marc Ravalomanana to the military and it sounds like it was supposed to be divided among the military there. It really is unclear what the situation is on this story, suffice to say that it is causing difficulties within the various forms of military in Madagascar.

There are various stories across the internet on this:

  • Midi-Madagasikara: Where General Zafera Viennot states contrary to what General Bruno Razafindrakoto says,  that the money is not a rumour and that there are witnesses that can prove it and that members of the FIGN have a right to divide the money. Lieutenant-colonel Raymond Randrianjafy states that there was an intermediary which was in direct contact with Marc Ravalomanana that is confirmed to have received 250 million FMG (10% of the disputed money). General Zafera then goes on to explain that they do not intend to remove Andry Rajoelina from his post as they had for Marc Ravalomanana and that there is no “Fort Duchesne mutiny”.
  • Madagascar-Tribune: Essentially describes the above article, but also describes how heavily guarded Fort Duchesne was on February 10th.
  • Madagascar-Tribune: This explains that Bruno Razafindrakoto met with the press on February 10th to refute the corruption accusations against him by the Gendarmerie (General Zafera Viennot). Also states that there will be an investigation as to whether this money exists and who had reeceived it.
  • Les-Nouvelles: States information similar to the Mid-Madagasikara article at the top, that General Zafera Viennot states information contrary to General Bruno Razafindrakoto. That the FIGN consideres it an “evil” that is corroding its ranks and that many of the FIGN really believe that the sum exists are are angry that its existence was being denied and that it was not going to be divided.

This information, though it was hard to make sense of and put together speaks to many things but mainly that the military is starting to become divided and untrustful of each other.

The fact that these stories have been reported shows that the army is either greedy, because they are already being paid well by Rajoelina, that perhaps not everyone in the army feels that they are benefiting from this coup as the should be or that of course Andry Rajoelina’s government is starting to run out of money. Either way, we have 2 members of the army speaking out against each other and there is unexplained activity with the heightened security around Fort Duschesne.

If it turns out to be true that Marc Ravalomanana had sent the money to the FIGN, I think that would be brilliant! There is no better way to get your revenge on Andry Rajoelina than to turn the same army that transferred power to Rajoelina to then turn against him?

But of course, we do not know whether all of the trouble that seems to be brewing in the army will amount to anything let alone overthrowing Andry Rajoelina. These are all rumours for now, but within all these rumours there must be some elements of truth or else there would not be the heightened security or this intense interest on supposed money.

Ny Hasina Andriamanjato Resigns

This was my big surprise when I had look at the news this morning and is another good indication of things to come. Ny Hasina Andriamanjato, the deputy vice president of the HAT steps down. Here are the related articles:

  • Midi-Madagasikara (link only good Feb12): Reports that Ny Hasina Andriamanjato resigned to make the government reconsider it’s position on Maputo. States that if Rajoelina had listened to him since the beginning, the matter would have been settled in September of 2009 and that no one “dare” speak to Andry Rajoelina about Maputo or his unilateralism.
  • Reuters: Reports that Ny Hasina Andriamanjato told Rajoelina that there would be no international recognition or a resolution to the crisis without the establishment of a unity government. When he resigned on Feb 10th, he had noted that he feels the government is heading in a different direction.
  • Madagascar-Tribune: Reports that Ny Hasina Andriamanjato
  • Les-Nouvelles: Reports that after a meeting of the HAT ministers at Iavoloha he decided that he would resign. Indicates that Andry Rajoelina is that certain members of the HAT are pressuring Rajoelina to move unilaterally to form his own government.

This is a pretty big deal that such a high ranking, staunch support of the HAT has decided to step away from his post because the party is going down a path that he disagrees with. I have mentioned Ny Hasina Andriamanjato from time to time on my blog:

  • When he was threatening to replace many of the Malagasy senators around the world in March 2009.
  • When he was talking tough against the SADC upon rumours that they were going to invade Madagascar in April 2009
  • When he had accompanied Rajoelina to Paris in September 2009 after the UN had embarrassed Andry Rajoelina by not allowing him to speak.

He has always vehemently defended the HAT as much as possible as the foreign minister and seemed to be Andry Rajoelina’s second right hand man, after Monja Roindefo. It is so amazing that this is happening because this could mean that the HAT is falling apart and that there is some descension among its ministers. What else would make such a highly positioned HAT minister resign and come out in public and say the approach Andry Rajoelina is taking is wrong?

Cracks in the Regime

Both of these stories fit so well together because how the government and the military are performing this delicate balancing act that is gradually coming apart, other wise we wouldn’t see this news. If the military are starting to have money problems, or are just too greedy then the HAT will have problems. If the ministers of the HAT do not agree with Andry Rajoelina, or if they see that the HAT ship is sinking I am sure that this will not be the last minister that will be leaving it.

In the coming weeks I don’t think we are going to see much coming from the military, but we probably will see some action from the HAT. I am betting that there may be at least one more resignation and then you will see a complete about face by Andry Rajoelina and he will be once again eager to jump back into Maputo talks to form an actual inclusive government, not a unilateral one.

I know it isn’t good when I am hopeful, it has never ever panned out in the past. But I am truly hopeful that there is not much life left in the HAT and that there is only a matter of time before it all comes crashing down, the Malagasy citizens suffering must come to an end.

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